TEL AVIV (Jan. 14)
The forcible conversion of orphaned Jewish children in Yemen has led to tragedy, according to reports brought here this week by members of a pro-Israel Japanese sect, Makopya, who had just visited Yemen.
They said a young Jewish girl jumped off a cliff after she and her 14 brothers were forced to convert to Islam, following their parents’ murder by highway robbers.
The incident occurred in Bilad-Anis, a town 50 miles south of Sana, the capital.
The Uri Teyman (Awaken Yemen) Association here, which tries to rescue Jews remaining in Yemen, confirmed that 47 Jewish boys and girls between ages 10 and 14 have been converted to Islam in the past three months.
According to Yemeni law, an unmarried orphan automatically belongs to Islam. The 15 Jewish children whose parents were murdered came to the attention of a religious Moslem, Ahmed Midani el-Maz’aki, the Japanese travelers reported. He had them converted under duress.